# Potential Well - a theoretical question

by JJHK
Tags: potential, theoretical
 P: 23 So imangine a potential well that looks like this: --_-- where the 1st and the third line have a potential U and the 2nd line has U=0. A wavefunction is coming from the left with E>U. When the wave function hits the first potential change(where the ΔU = negative), does some of the wavefunction get reflected back? In other words, can a wavefunction that faces a negative change in potential get reflected back? (and if so, can a wavefunction that faces no change in potential get reflected? I feel like if a wavefunction has a chance getting reflected off a negative potential, then it would have a higher chance getting reflected off no change in potential... but this does not seem right)
Mentor
P: 10,695
 Quote by JJHK can a wavefunction that faces a negative change in potential get reflected back?
Yes.

 (and if so, can a wavefunction that faces no change in potential get reflected? I feel like if a wavefunction has a chance getting reflected off a negative potential, then it would have a higher chance getting reflected off no change in potential... but this does not seem right)
The amount of reflection decreases as the "depth" of the well decreases, and becomes zero when the "depth" becomes zero, that is, when the well disappears.

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